Whether this is your first delivery or your fifth, post partum recovery can take time and patience. Often times, women experience post partum lower back pain, secondary to the changes in alignment and stretching that occurs within the pelvis as your pregnancy progresses. This can be addressed with hands on treatment from a skilled physical therapist and strengthening of the core and hips.
Another, not so commonly reported issue that women can experience in their “fourth trimester” (post partum), is upper back and neck pain. After having a baby, your daily activities change: breast feeding, changing diapers, carrying your baby, maneuvering car seats, etc. all become a routine part of the day. These activities require adequate strength and endurance of your neck and upper back muscles and knowledge of the effects that body mechanics and posture can have on the health of your spine.
What does it feel like?
Neck issues commonly present themselves with stiffness, and referred pain. Referred pain means that the pain is felt at a location away from the source of the pain. Pain between the shoulder blades and even into the arms can stem from the joints in your neck. Pain can also be referred from a rib mobility issue. This may occur during the post partum period due to postures taken throughout the day when taking care of your baby. Your rib cage and diaphragm also under go major changes during your pregnancy, which can lead to issues in the post partum period.
How can Physical Therapy Help?
A physical therapist can evaluate the source of your upper back and neck pain, and use manual therapy to help decrease the pain and inflammation you are experiencing. More importantly, a physical therapist can prescribe specific exercises to address the root cause of the issue.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment usually takes 8-12 visits
If you are experiencing pregnancy pains, have questions or would just like a tune-up, come in to see our Pelvic Floor and Women's Health Specialist, Annabel Bavage PT, DPT. She will get you feeling better in no time!
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